Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Broaden your interests...deepen your passions, live life full to paint lively!
Somewhere in my copy of Edgar Payne's book, "Composition of Outdoor Painting" is a passage I remember reading and was impressed, where Payne suggested to be a good painter, drawing from the kind of passion to paint lively works..was to expand your personality and drink, take life in and live a lively life. An observer, participator of life. I'll find it, and perhaps come back here and edit that comment in. It wasn't long after this I had stopped after some gallery business in a German style cafe/bar for their famously popular ten inch bratwurst sandwich and an Sprecher Optimator. The staff were wearing shirts promoting "Otto's"...the establishment name, and I had to buy a shirt because its motto was..."Eat Well, Live Life, Laugh Often!"
I guess its easy for me perhaps to soapbox, having spent near 30 some years studying, pushing, and growing my art...and I guess I can say I'm glad I have much of that learning behind me, (though I still push myself), but I think its fair to say I have life to the full...
Not just painting, though often a couple hundred paintings per year, but a veracious reader, a musician with past history...still writing songs, playing my guitar and seeing myself grow that way. Love being outdoors, hiking...fishing, hunting...going to Green Bay Packer games at Lambeau, time at our family's cabin...you name it. Oh, that..and the fact that my vocation is teaching art!
I was our high school JV golf coach for seven years, and just this past week accepted the position of head coach. Loving to play golf, and teaching it.
Some say, "how do you have time for all this?" and my question is more, "how can you afford the time not to live so?" This isn't dress rehearsal. We don't come back and do this again?
Perhaps...so much time wasted with the television, I don't know...but it strikes me ironic we watch the lives of other people lived and played out. Oh...I have a television, and enjoy a movie...watch news...but, its on often as background to whatever else I'm doing. I'll often be painting a gouache in the living space with television on...or something else.
Its this stopping to smell the roses thing. Taking in the moment. Seeing just how precious this gift of life is...taking no moment for granted. Its having served in the Navy...perhaps even having a disability from that time serving, realizing freedom does not come freely, and for those many that paid the ultimate sacrifice, a sense of being the best me I can be some way of saying "thank you!"
I took a photo last night (posted above)...a simple set up in about a four foot square space of our living space where my two channel acoustasonic amplifer is set up, by guitar and a nice singing mic...and did so, just to reiterate I have a life and ambitions even outside of painting. A place where I can practice simply enough, work out material. I store my sound reinforcement equipment, other guitars elsewhere...but this is sufficient for me to keep my chops, think out and thru my music.
I believe I am actually a better painter than what I could be, because life is so precious and so very intriguing to me. When the morning alarm goes off...its like, okay...wow, another day on God's good earth. What excitement lays ahead?
And then, of course what greater joy than one's grand children making a visit, and always there is time for them...
I guess, the bottom line is...you want to paint well? Want something deep inside worth saying? Experience the deep human experiences calling onto deep. Eat well...live life, laugh often!